tv African Americans in Spokane CSPAN September 3, 2017 10:22am-10:35am EDT
you can never predict what action is going. that nonfiction as just as like as fiction is and i like that. i want the world to be unpredictable and do not know what's happening tomorrow and to overwhelm us with these kinds of events. >> next up from spokane washington jerrelene williamson shares stories of the black families arrived in spokane in 1899. >> my great grandfather and my grandfather, he was a boy at the time, were recruited spartan virginia two, on a train up to rosalind washington and they were to break a coal strike but they didn't know they were breaking coal strike. the father just coming for jobs. so that really caused a big furor at that time. and there were several, it was a lot of problems in trouble with
the minors, and finally when it was all finished and they went to work in the mines, that was a different story and work in the mines for many years. but then the mines petered out and they came to spokane washington and seattle, portland, tacoma, places like that. they left rosalind and came there. that's how i came here to spokane. my family anyway. others came at that time, too. >> the name of the book is "african americans in spokane," and i decided to write it because of my daughter. she knew that i all of these pictures and things of that nature that we've gotten together for the spokane northwest black pioneer centennial in washington state in 1989. and she said, mom has all these
pictures and why doesn't she put into a book form? and so she came back and she told me and that's what we did and that's how we happened to write about spokane. and because i've been a lifelong member of the spokane community. we showed all these photos and were very, very grateful because most people had not seen these before. there was a black policeman from way back and they were soldiers that were at fort george, when they first came different soldiers that came during the second world war. just all kinds of pictures. it was something that nobody had ever seen before. well, i mean, we had seen them, but the community had not seen them. i didn't know what a struggle it
was for the people to come from roslyn, washington, here, you know, i did know that there was, i've been told kind of it was hard to get jobs and things like that. most of the things i really didn't know, but i researched and found it that this was the case. and how much the church meant to anyone. because i talked to people and they let me know that calvary was always there in the bethel was always there, and i got to know the feelings about how they felt about not being able to get jobs and things, these are older people then and i was kind of john. i found out that they had a problem with just being discriminated against. that's what i found out. they were like two sides of
town. there was the north side in the middle, and then the south side. and he did not live with up on the south side because they worked up there. they worked in homes and things like that, but they did not live up there. it was that way for quite some time. when my family came here, my father worked for the national bank as a janitor, and that's what most of the men did. and like i said, the women took in washington and went to peoples home in cooking and surreal work, so to speak. you know there were soldiers who came here in world war ii, and the population was not as great with the black community. but those soldiers liked what they saw and they went back after they got out of service.
they brought their families back year, then the northwest just exploded with, i keep 20% african-americans, but black people but there were not called african americans then. they came back you to live, and they enjoyed it, you know. even though there wasn't a lot of opportunity, they still came back. they made opportunities, some of them. the thing that tied the community together was the churches. everything kind of centered around the churches. and the children, they went to church and sunday school. and we had good leaders. calvary baptist church was the first church, black church, and the bethel ame church was just a little later, but they both have
have, that some of the pictures that were in the 1989 deal that we had here. and the church was everything. everything have been the church because we couldn't go everywhere. we couldn't go different places, but the church kind of providing things for us to do and especially children and young people. because i remember myself when i was young that the church was a big part of what happened with us. the davenport hotel, and it's different now. i had to come out and say that because things have changed, owners have changed. but at the time you couldn't get a job being black at the davenport hotel. sammy davis junior came here. he couldn't get a room. louis armstrong came here, and
he could not get a room at the davenport. louis armstrong got pretty angry and he went out to the airport with his troop, band at all, and he went out to the airport and he was leaving. and the promoters came, that all these people waiting to hear louis armstrong. so the supporters went out there and talk to him and said please, please come back. he did. he had the show but he wasn't going to stand for that. and i don't know whether, i don't think he stayed there, but he stayed somewhat and he came back and did the show. but he was outraged at it, and he took action about it. the civil rights movement, my goodness, it had an effect. we couldn't be there and march with martin luther king and the group, but our hearts and our minds and our soul was with him because we knew that whatever
they did would reflect on what would happen with us. and that was a very big thing for us. there were a few marches around, to, college students marched at that time here in spokane. and that was a big thing, too, for them to do it. martin luther king was just, just everything to us, and i think he still is, you know. he always will be. james was made in spokane washington from 1982-1985. he came here and he is head of the naacp at one time and he was just kind of a businessman. and didn't get got to the mayor of spokane, just by who he was and what he did. and he always spoke about later on in his life how he came here
on a freight train and became the mayor, the first black mayor of spokane washington and that was quite an accomplishment. he was kind of charismatic, very tall, very good-looking, and he was just charismatic. he had a nice town at all, and people, he just kind of one people over by being on the city council and then being mayor. it was him. it was him. that's what his goal was and that's what he became i mentioned how much james chace meant to spokane, but i can't say anything about him that i don't include his wife. her family was one of the first families of spokane. and she was by his side and helping him every step of the
way pics i want to mention her and her family because they were very important in spokane. i have to say he was our hero. he was the first black attorney in spokane, and he went to gonzaga university, and he was a fighter. he was in the rain at gonzaga, and he was an orphan and he had a hard time getting anything done. but then he decided is going to become an attorney, and he did. he wanted them to be treated by, to be able to join the unions, things of that nature and just to be treated like any other citizen. he was just a very noble person
who wanted things right for people and all people. he wanted it for all people but that's why he became an attorney. he wanted to make a difference so that other kids didn't have to go through a home like he did. and they would have more of a chance and that's why he became attorney. he wanted to make a difference so that other kids didn't have to go to a home like he did and they would have more of a chance. he was a great guy. we were not always seemed that much but we were here. we always have been here and we had accomplished many things that people might not have even known whether calvary baptist church was by the bethel ame church was, but we were here. i think they knew.
they never came, but we were always here. >> james hunt is next on the spokane, washington. his book "restless fire" is it about the life of john muir while he is considered one of nations most significant and firemen to leaders and father of the national park service. >> john muir was probably one of the most significant environmental thinkers, leaders pick is basically the protagonist for the national park system. he helped to bring about the creation of yosemite as a national park. it was a state park before his work. he was instrumental in glacier bay national park. also influence information of olympic national park and mount rainier national park. for a long time i've been interested in the impact of travel in leadership formation in young adults and i've done previous work on frederick douglass, on john quincy a